Fleet News

Big data is a big deal for fleet managers

Callum Gibson, UK managing director, FleetCor

The fleet world is blessed with an abundance of data.

For example, my company has data covering millions of fuel transactions and a digital vapour trail for millions of miles travelled.

We have access to this data thanks to electronic payment records, chip-enabled cards, mobile telematics data, sat-navs and smartphones which means we now know more than ever.

However, many of us are still not making the most of our big data which could help us improve efficiency and save money.

With enough data we not only know what has happened, but we can predict what is going to happen.

For example, data analysis can predict when a driver will next fill up and send a timely text letting the driver know where the nearest cheapest fuel is.

This could even be sent to the vehicle’s sat-nav, making finding the fuel a breeze.

Big data can detect driving behaviours and let employees know how they can change their ways.

Whether it is speeding or achieving dismal fuel economy through a heavy right foot, big data can spot it and stop it.

This can save money and potentially save lives.

And when it comes to vehicle maintenance, big data can be used to predict and detect problems before they happen, connecting drivers to the best offers for maintenance services so they buy when prices are low, rather than as a distress purchase with a premium price to match.

I joined the fleet management world from retail banking where vast amounts of data are mined to develop new products and provide timely, relevant communications to customers.

By contrast, my observation of the fleet world is that we are missing out on what our own big data reserves could yield in terms of improved efficiency and cost reductions.

Typically, most businesses use only 10% of the data they hold.

We all need to work more closely with service providers to access to the max the precious asset of insight sitting in all our organisations which can be a transformative agent for change.

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